The Scottish Wholesale Association has appointed former Costco and Best-one manager Colin Smith as its new chief executive.
Current executive director Kate Salmon is to retire after leading the trade body for 35 years.
She will work alongside Smith to ensure a smooth transition and will continue to work for the SWA on a consultancy basis from the autumn.
Smith has more than 20 years’ experience in the wholesale sector, having served as Scottish regional manager for Bestway’s symbol group Best-one.
He has also worked across several marketing roles at Bellevue Cash and Carry in Edinburgh before moving to Costco Wholesale to become marketing director. He subsequently moved back to Bellevue.
He joined Best-one following the acquisition of Bellevue by Batley Wholesale in 2010.
Smith said that one of his key priorities would be to meet members and develop closer relationships with suppliers.
“Wholesale provides suppliers with an excellent opportunity to tap into the strong route to market that our members’ independent retail and foodservice outlets customers offer - I want to get that message across loud and clear and I also want to hear their views so we can tailor our offer to specific sectors of our wholesale membership,” he said.
SWA president Julie Dunn said: “Colin’s wide-ranging experience of the wholesale industry, spanning both foodservice and retail, plus his strengths in marketing, will bring depth and knowledge to our association as we support our members in times of change both within the trade and on the political landscape.
“Colin will work with our members, suppliers and partners to drive the association forward and ensure that we are the forefront of discussions and debates around all the issues affecting the wholesale industry. Our collaborative approach will ensure that our members’ views are relayed to key decision-makers, giving us a louder voice at Holyrood and in the wider food and drink industry.”